30 June 2019

New Toy

Yesterday morning we drove to the sorting office in Market Rasen to collect a parcel.  It contained my new phone – an iPhone7 – all the way from Australia!  It’s not exactly new, just over a year old with one careful owner.  I always get my family’s cast off phones and this was a present from my daughter Sarah, complete with a brand new cover.  Leopard print was out of stock so it is a tasteful turquoise.  The package had taken over two weeks to get here via Aus Post; I think customs may have been a bit suspicious as Sarah had included several packets of cinnamon flavoured gum for sister Kat.

This morning I took it outside in the garden to try out the camera.  It has all sorts of clever functions but it’s going to take me a bit of time to get used to it.

28 June 2019


Southern and central Europe is sweltering but the weather in Lincolnshire is quite delightful at the moment.  We are making the most of it and spending nearly all day outside in the garden.  Long, leisurely lunches on the terrace - this is everything I love about the summer.

"Are you sure you can eat that much potato with your poached egg?"  What a silly question.
Paul has been harvesting some of the elephant garlic that he planted earlier in the year.  It has to 'cure' for a couple of weeks before eating so he has hung it from an old vegetable rack.   It's not easy finding big garlic in the local shops so we're hoping this is going to be a success.

elephant garlic

26 June 2019

Fish and Freesias

I like cooking filleted fish, it’s so quick and easy.  Tonight we had smoked basa fillets.  Usually I like to poach smoked fish in milk and then make a creamy sauce by adding crème fraiche and butter.  This evening I was serving it with vegetables from the garden - French beans, baby broad beans and new potatoes so didn’t feel like a rich sauce.  Instead I put the fish on foil, added some butter, a slice of lemon, parsley and a slurp of white wine, sealed the foil into parcels and baked for about 12 minutes. It was delicious and the fish came with their own puddles of ready made sauce.

The new potatoes were particularly good because I managed to snaffle some potatoes that Paul had rejected as being too small.  We always argue about this. He likes to wait until they are a reasonable size.  But to me they don’t taste like proper new potatoes unless they are really small.

I picked some freesias from the garden.  I only grow them for the scent.  Always takes me back to being a five year old bridesmaid with a posy of freesias.

24 June 2019


A year ago we were preparing for our journey back to England to view some properties in Lincolnshire.  Our Airbnb host was charming, we had no idea he was the Bishop of Grimsby! I can’t believe it‘s been a whole year since we first glimpsed what was to become our home.

In three weeks’ time the builders are scheduled to arrive and start tearing my kitchen apart.  The wall between the kitchen and dining room is going to be demolished and a steel RSJ inserted so there will be considerable mess.  I shudder to think of the dust. My dad would probably say there is nothing wrong with the existing kitchen.  My task will be to keep Rick from licking the workmen to death.

Today was art class.  I didn't feel like painting flowers so I did a harbour scene from a photo.  

I think the tutor has noticed my lack of enthusiasm with water colour because she has given me a whole set of second hand oil paints that had been abandoned by an ex-student.  I have never used oils before so I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty and doing something really big and abstract.  I need something to hang on the wall of my new kitchen.

it would be a shame not to use them

21 June 2019

Garden Progress


Now that we have some better weather we are able to get outside again and continue work on the garden.  The veggie patch is doing well and we are harvesting new potatoes,broad beans, French beans, beetroot and lettuce.  The courgettes will be ready for picking in a day or two.  It's easy to forget what a wilderness the garden was when we arrived.  Here are some before and after photos...







14 June 2019

Plastic Sunflower

looks better if you don't get too close!
When my art tutor presented the class with a trio of plastic sunflowesr to paint I was less than enthused.  In protest I ignored her advice about perspective and careful drawing and followed Rachel’s advice about being more free with my painting.  

Apart from making a mess of the top half of the sunflower  (I might cut the top piece off) I was quite pleased with the result.  I love it when the paint does the work for me.

Meanwhile the rain in Lincolnshire continues to fall and there is widespread flooding.  The River Steeping in the south east of the county has burst its banks and several homes have been affected. Our nearest river, the Ancholme is likely to overflow but reports say that properties will not be at risk.  There is certainly enough water in the Seggimore Beck to hold the duck race now!